Commentary: Tax-Aide volunteers here to helpIt is that time of year again: tax season. Which means it is time to start digging through your files, pulling out receipts and brushing up on the latest changes to the state and federal tax code.
By: Michele Kimball, The Republican Eagle
It is that time of year again: tax season. Which means it is time to start digging through your files, pulling out receipts and brushing up on the latest changes to the state and federal tax code.
For a few brave souls this exercise will only consume an evening or two of their lives. Others will spend a few hundred bucks to have it done professionally, but for those without the resources to pay or the expertise to do it themselves there are very few options.
That is why AARP Minnesota volunteers are proud to kick off their 45th year of providing free tax preparations assistance at more than one hundred locations across the state. From Feb. 1 through the tax filing deadline in mid-April, volunteers will dedicate hundreds of hours assisting people in need with their tax filings.
AARP Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest, free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service. It is available to taxpayers with low and moderate-incomes and gives special attention to individuals 60 and older.
In 2011, Minnesota AARP volunteers filed more than 100,000 returns, free of charge, for older Minnesotans in need of assistance. AARP has also created an online search engine that lists every tax preparation site in the state at www.aarp.org/taxaide/.
Tax-Aide volunteers are trained to assist with filing both state and federal tax forms and file the majority of returns electronically so that people get their refunds faster. Tax-Aide volunteers will have undergone several days of training and passed three IRS certification tests and an ethics exam.
The tax aide program is just one of the many ways that AARP Minnesota is involved in communities across the state on a day to day basis. Together with our AARP Driver’s Safety classes and AARP’s social advocacy work, we are doing what we can to give back to the nearly 700,000 AARP members in the Gopher State.
If you or someone you know is in need of tax preparation assistance visit www.aarp.org/taxaide/ to find a location near you.
Michele Kimball is director of AARP Minnesota.